Geek Speak is Out, Consumer Speak is In.
The customer needs to understand what he or she is buying in a simple, comprehensible language not complicated by tech jargon.
My mother needed a new refrigerator. The ‘very’ well-informed salesperson at the store decided he needed to impress us with his understanding of the innards of the refrigerator. He reeled some technological jargon much to his delight and our dismay. A simple question from my mother stumped him though – how does all that make my life easier? All she wanted to hear was something which she could understand – in simple plain English!
Do you know what 802.11B is? Some call it Wi-fi, something which rolls out of the tongue easier. Wi-fi is a shortened version of wireless fidelity!
Cut to the ubiquitous personal computer. Have you ever checked the web pages of the Apple Mac with the other personal computer brands? No prizes for guessing which sells more.
For many brands especially in the consumer electronics space, the brand owners seem to get absorbed with the technical specifications that make up the product, rather than the benefits that these specifications may provide. The product’s value proposition speaks to the benefits, not the specifications.
The customer needs to understand what he or she is buying in a simple, comprehensible language not complicated by tech jargon. Geekspeak is meant for those who understand technological terms, and in terms of number – a limited number of people do so. Simple language is meant for the rest of the others, who are without a doubt – a huge majority.
‘Pitch the experience. Ditch the specs.’ Those days are gone when the specifications were used to bedazzle the already confused or under-informed customer. The near nonsensical sounding tech specs were used as selling propositions. But as the customer gets smarter, he/ she wants to cut the chase and get to the relevant facts straight away.
If there is anyone who can claim to initiate this, the credit would go to Steve Jobs. He removed the geekiness out of technology and made it consumer-friendly. I remember the times when huge instruction manuals were given with each product until Apple happened. This can be best summarized by the phrase ‘I don’t know how to use a computer but I know how to use Apple’.
Apple (and soon mimicked by others) has focused on the use of simple, consumer-friendly products and it is not surprising that Apple has dominated the consumer electronics space. Most consumers are happy to skip the specs — they just want to know how your product will make their life better.
Maybe that’s how consumer electronic companies should sell their products. Keeping it simple, straight. And to use Philip’s line – let’s make things better.